More EU assistance on the way for Hurricane Irma-hit islands

BRUSSELS – The European Union (EU) says more help is on the way for the islands where Hurricane Irma left a trail of death and devastation.
EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, says it is the body’s “moral duty to help those in need whose lives and homes are being destroyed or severely threatened”.
“We stand in full solidarity with all those in the Caribbean and in the USA during and after the storm.
For as long as it takes. Last week we mobilized our emergency response tools and our 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre has been in continuous coordination with our EU Member States on any assistance required.
“Today additional EU funding is on its way,” Stylianides said in a statement today. “We have now released an initial amount of humanitarian assistance of €2 million for the most affected islands in the Caribbean. This will help support key sectors such as water and sanitation, health, waste management, logistics.”
In the longer term, the EU Commissioner said, further EU funding is available for reconstruction efforts.
He said EU humanitarian experts deployed across the region continue to help the local authorities and coordinate aid deliveries.
“Let me make it clear that any country in the region can request our help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We stand ready to provide any further assistance to the affected countries,” Stylianides added.
The Commission is also supporting a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund operation by the International Federation of the Red Cross, providing basic relief kits to the affected populations in Antigua and Barbuda. Furthermore, a team of EU humanitarian experts is deployed in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic.
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